On Wednesday, the New Hampshire Bulletin reported that New Hampshire's acting secretary of state, David Scanlan, is facing criticism for appointing a far-right election conspiracy theorist to serve on the state's "voter confidence commission."
"The commission includes a controversial pick: Ken Eyring, who has drawn criticism from voting rights groups for promoting the false narrative of rampant voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election," reported Amanda Gokee. "In the wake of the 2020 presidential election, Eyring authored blog articles with headlines including misinformation, like 'Rampant Election Fraud Exposed!!!' published on the far-right and libertarian website Granite Grok. No evidence of widespread voter fraud has been found either in New Hampshire or nationally."
According to the report, the pick has upset several advocacy groups.
"You want to reserve judgment before anything starts, but it is jarring to see on a commission that the secretary of state formed, a commission to fight back against conspiracy theories that undermine our trust in elections, … one of the lead perpetrators of those big lie conspiracies," said Lucas Meyer, chairman of progressive advocacy organization 603 Forward, told the New Hampshire Bulletin.
Community organizer Louise Spencer, meanwhile, told the paper that "we have concerns that whenever the big lie is given credence that that in and of itself greatly undermines confidence in our elections.'"
Eyring, for his part, has denied promoting election conspiracies, saying "I never used the word 'fraud'" — even though his post literally titled "Rampant Election Fraud Exposed!!!!" is still online in Granite Grok's archive. When confronted with this by Bulletin interviewers, he "said he would have to go back and look at what he wrote."
Scanlan, a Republican, assumed his acting position in January, replacing controversial longtime Secretary of State Bill Gardner. Gardner, who served in that role for 45 years, was nominally a Democrat but appointed with mainly support from Republican legislators and allied himself with former President Donald Trump on multiple occasions, joining his 2017 voter fraud commission and baselessly claiming that proposed federal legislation to protect voting access would hurt New Hampshire.